Koç University News & Announcements Bulletin

June 2018


Dear Members of the Koç University Community,

June is the month of graduation; it is that bittersweet time when we wave good-bye to our dear students and when they set out for their next adventure of life as grown-ups, as jobholders and ultimately as movers and shakers on the national and world stage. This year, June 23rd marked the 24th Commencement of Koç University. Each graduation may feel the same in terms of the routines we follow, but is in fact so very different in many ways, not the least of which is the fact that each time we have a brand new graduating class and their families.

Our Commencement Speaker this year, Professor Andrew Hamilton, a dear friend and a very important voice on our Board of Overseers, delivered a truly great speech, which had all the key elements of a true commencement address; humor, excitement, clear reflections on our world and what universities are and should be. We immensely enjoyed his animated speech, which literally brought down the house and lifted the whole spirit of the event to an even higher level. Please watch his entire speech on our youtube channel as it was so inspirational for all of us.

His comment about our university ‘It is wonderful to be at one of the youngest universities in the world. And I have no doubt that Koç University will have an equally long and illustrious history!’ was also echoed in my opening remarks, as these 25 years have been the foundation for the next 25 to even 50 years, especially with the huge momentum that we have gained in the past few years.

Last year we were unfortunate to cut our ceremony short as rain had started to pour down on us. This year we were prepared and despite a few passing showers that came all too close, we managed to finish on time while mostly staying dry. 

Graduations are times when you also celebrate your new lives; as school for many of you is over and it is a whole different world that is awaiting you. One couple, from our College of Engineering, who have been friends since high school, decided Koç University has not only given them a great education but also has been the place where their love has flourished. We have had many couples that have gotten married after they graduate; with even some of them having their weddings on campus. But a marriage proposal during graduation was a first for our school and I am sure for many of you. At their faculty graduation, Ekin (Electrical Engineering) proposed to Feyza (Industrial Engineering and Computer Engineering, Double Major) and asked for her hand in marriage with a bouquet of flowers, to huge applause and cheers from her classmates and their parents. I wholeheartedly congratulate our alumni on both accounts.

Last year, I had started a tradition of sharing a few words of advice for the graduating class on Twitter, which was also shared on the Social Wall on the Day of the Commencement Ceremony.

I would like to take this opportunity to address the Class of 2018:

  • You should be proud of your Diploma because you have achieved the goals you needed in order to graduate. However, please also be aware and proud of the wealth of personal relationships you have formed during your time here. Enjoy and cherish this moment; we shall always remember you and take pride and joy in your future endeavors.
  • Always pursue what you love so that you are successful and that your contribution to your country and humanity is the best and most extensive it can possibly be.
  • Always be uncompromisingly relentless in following your curiosity; never accept anything without filtering it with your own conscience.
  • Never walk the paths shown to you; build your own pathways so that others can follow on them.
  • Be clear and be concise in expressing yourself. Use Turkish and English carefully and articulately.
  • View mistakes as opportunities to learn new things. Always be positive, constructive and modest.
  • Whatever comes your way in life; never give up your quest to pursue your passion.
  • Always include art, culture and sports in your life; do not get caught up in success and do not merely focus on your profession.
  • Always be kind, compassionate and giving toward others and never forget that your most important and lasting legacy in life is the people you work with and influence throughout your life and career.
  • May your lives be full of health, happiness, excitement and success. . .

I congratulate the class of 2018… This academic year was a time where we embraced our alumni more and their giving back shows us that our relationship is growing stronger. In his opening remarks at our ceremony, Chairman of our Board of Trustees Ömer M. Koç stated: "When you have the means, please do remember your university and give back." I would like to add that there are so many different ways to give back. We love you, we will miss you, we will watch you from afar and be proud of your achievements and we hope in return that you feel the same when you occasionally lift your head from life and see where Koç University is headed.

Another annual event of great importance for us this month was our Board of Overseers meetings, held just prior to Commencement during June 20-22, 2018. This event involves the arrival on our campus of our esteemed members of the Board of Overseers for their annual review, with a detailed report in their hands about virtually every academic endeavor of the university, which was sent to them at the beginning of June. The meetings involve a detailed all day presentation to them of our progress, successes and challenges, including extensive free discussion, followed by a second day of their meetings with delegations of individual Colleges/Schools and Graduate Institutes. During the third day, Boards of Overseers and Trustees meet together without the university administration, providing a unique opportunity for the Trustees to hear all important feedback and advice from our esteemed visitors. This year was the 25th meeting of our Board of Overseers and their advice and counsel has been our guiding light and measure of merit, contributing significantly to the development of Koç University as a global center of excellence in education and research.

Best wishes and regards to you all,

Umran Inan



Koç University Commencement 2018

Koç University celebrated its 24th Commencement on June 23, 2018. The class of 2018 was feted by the university community, family and friends during the Commencement ceremonies that featured an inspiring speech by Professor Andrew Hamilton, President of New York University and member of Koç University Board of Overseers.

We congratulate the new graduates and wish them all the best…

New Exhibition from ANAMED

The new ANAMED exhibition, ‘Picturing a Lost Empire: An Italian Lens on Byzantine Art in Anatolia, 1960–2000’, focuses on the research on Byzantine art carried out by Italian scholars in the second half of the twentieth century and examines its mutual relationship with the history of Byzantine art historiography in Turkey. Featuring a selection of previously unpublished archival photographs of extraordinary monuments preserved in Anatolia, the exhibition can be visited from June 1 to December 31, 2018.

Sign Language Acquisition experts at Koç University

The College of Social Sciences and Humanities hosted the 3rd International Conference on Sign Language Acquisition, ICSLA on June 27-29. More than 100 participants from 20 different countries attended the conference - including many deaf people from Turkey. The presentations were translated into 7 different languages, including Turkish, English and various sign languages. This conference created a unique platform where academicians working on sign language acquisition as a first and second language met non-academicians, such as teachers for the deaf, language education policy makers, and others interested in the subject.

The Launch of the Human Rights Program (MATRA)

The launch of the Human Rights Program (MATRA) "Enhancing Women's Leadership Through Female Role Models", funded by the Consulate General of the Netherlands, was held in Koç Pera on June 7th. With opening remarks by KOÇ-KAM Director Professor Bertil Emrah Oder, Consul General Bart van Bolhuis and the project coordinator Associate Professor Aslı E. Mert, participants of the program, guests from the Consulate and representatives from NGOs working on women's leadership, attended the event.